A Geeky Guy's Movie Guide to The Shape of Water (2017)

in #movie-review4 years ago (edited)

Earlier today, I sat down to write about my top ten movies of 2017. Then I realized that I had not seen Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water. Based on the buzz it is receiving around the internet, I thought it had a strong chance of landing on my top ten list. Many seem to feel it may be the absolute best movie of the year.

I am not one of those people.

However, that does not mean it is not a very high quality film. When I was childless thirty-year old with plenty of disposable income and time on my hands, I probably would have had a much higher opinion of this movie. Unfortunately, these days, my time is very precious.

That is the mentality I have when I write my reviews. I pretend I am writing for my friends in a similar stage of their lives as I am in. Therefore, a non-family movie has to be exceptional in order for me to suggest a friend spend their valuable time on it. (Kids movies have an added bonus of being "family time" so I am far more forgiving).

The following contains the same spoilers that are found in the movie's previews.

If you grew up in the U.S. in the 1960s or 1970s, you undoubtedly saw the 1954 movie The Creature From the Black Lagoon (That is one of the unavoidable side effects of having only four TV channels to choose from). If after watching that movie, you thought to yourself, "Huh. I wonder what it would be like if that creature were brought to the U.S. and fell in love with a woman who is mute?" Then this movie is made for you!

Because that is the exact plot of the movie. Just to be clear. The movie's premise is not that a creature similar to the Creature from the Black Lagoon comes to the U.S.... it is the exact same creature.

The Shape of Water is basically the sequel to 1954s The Creature from the Black Lagoon... as a love story.

I realize that I said that three different ways. That was intentional. If you are going to see this movie, you must understand what you are getting yourself into. If you fully understand and have not given the movie a hard pass, then please continue reading.

But wait. That sounds ridiculous. How can this still be a "high quality film"?

It has nearly every element of a great movie (if you can get past a completely absurd premise).

The attention to detail in all of the sets as well as the characters that fill them are amazing.

The basic story is fascinating. During the Cold War, The Creature from the Black Lagoon is brought to a U.S. government lab to be tested own in hopes of the knowledge aiding America's efforts to put a man on the moon. There are spies, love interests and an incredibly creepy villain.

All of the characters, and the actors who portray them, are incredible. Despite the fact that she cannot speak, the audience falls in love with the lead, Elisa, brilliantly portrayed by Sally Hawkins. Her two main friends played by Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Richard Jenkins are wonderful. As always, Michael Shannon does a perfect job as the sinister villain.

The visuals are stunning. Not only does the Creature look incredibly real, the sets are extraordinary. Del Toro brilliantly captured the feeling of being in a lab in the 1960s.

The movie also included a bit of humor that went over very well with the audience.

The film even has a pretty deep message. This is clearly an allegory for racism and other forms of discrimination. It was a very clever way to make the point that the human race still has a long way to go in the area of treating each other with dignity and respect. Although this may turn some viewers off by being "too preachy", I enjoyed the shrewd way the theme was woven into the story.

So the story, characters, acting, visuals, humor, were all on point and it has a clever message. How the heck is this not a great movie?

Here's the problem. The movie is 120 minutes long. All of the aforementioned strengths would have been perfectly suited for a 42 minute episode of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Dark Side.

If you read "Twilight Zone" and pictured glistening vampires... you are much younger than I.

There are so many unnecessary scenes and details about the side characters that it brought the movie to a screeching halt. Actually, it was more like the movie never got up to full speed. In addition, the movie has two distinct pieces: spy and love. Sadly, it does not find the right balance between the two and ends up being far too heavily skewed toward the supernatural romance. It would be a great date movie... if it weren't about the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I'd say the demographic for this type of love story is rather small. I would have preferred that the spy angle be the main focus.

So should you see The Shape of Water?

Let's see...

Do you want to see a love story about a human and the Creature from the Black Lagoon?

If the answer is "no" you can stop.

If it is "yes" then the next question is; do you have a lot of time on your hands?

If "yes", then see it in the theater so you can truly enjoy the visuals.

If "no", then wait and rent it.

This might be a movie best enjoyed in more than one sitting. Perhaps it would have made a compelling two or three episode TV show (although I'd say one would cover it).

There's not a lot of this type of excitement in the movie. I wish there were a little more.

Before I do the Geeky Guide, it is important to note that this is not a kids movie. It is rated "R" for good reason. There is a significant amount of nudity, sexuality, violence and swearing.

Geeky Guy's Movie Guide

Number of times I fell asleep: 0
Number of eye rolls: 0 (It's about the Creature from the Black Lagoon falling in love with a human... I wouldn't have seen it if I were susceptible to eye rolls.)
Number of face palms: 0
Number of times I checked steemit: 0
Number of times I said "That's ridiculous": 0
Full price/Matinee/Rental/Free/Not worth the time: If you have a lot of spare time pay full price in a quality theater. If not, rent it or see it for free.

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


It is a great move review! It is hard to see a detailed review on this type of movie on steemit! Thanks for your work!

God bless you.

Nice one.. God bless you.

Im going to watch original now then remake, hopefully 0 times falling asleep, which i do almost every time now

nice movie post like n upvote

Thanks, I actually was wondering if I should go see it. Even though it's expensive, I do enjoy going to a movie theater once in awhile. After reading your review, I'm leaning towards waiting until it is available on some streaming service.

@hanshotfirst, it sounds like you thought it was a decent movie but not the best movie of the past year. Can I ask you what movie you really liked? With your user name, it seems like maybe you like Star Wars????

Actually, the Last Jedi is the only movie I saw at a theater last year. Was it the best movie ever? No, but you know, it's a habit to see Star Wars movies.

I agree. I thought the last Star Wars was just okay. I didn't ask much of it though, just for an action movie. I think it's a bit more shallow lore-wise than the earlier Star Wars films.

I've never heard of the shape of water though. I should look into seeing it though. Such an interesting concept for a movie.

Star Wars will not be making my top ten list.

Baby Driver, Thor, and Wonder will. I am working on the list for Monday's post.

Great, I followed you to make sure I see it. Thanks, I like entertainment reviews, and yours are good.

You can download it via torrent client without going to the cinema or paying for it... Just ask me how and thank me later.

Thanks, now I have no doubts and I'll go watch it with my girlfriend (she loves this kind of movies).

It sounds and looks like the Geeky guy enjoyed this movie. It sounded like the story line is mediocre to me, a human and creature fell in love especially if there was an original version of it in the 1950s. On the other hand, I am very curious to see how they filmed this movie, cinematology ,how they make it as a must see movie of the year. I am fascinated with science fiction especially if there is suspense. Yes, I would like to see the movie because it sounded like they executed it well but there is only one catch I gotta have a babysitter.(",) Having children nowadays watched me more general audiences movies. Interesting article @hanshotfirst

I have not seen this movie, would probably check it out later myself . Looking forward to your list of best movies of 2017, have a feeling I missed some good ones. Cheers

Cant wait to check it out! Thanks for another great review!

@hanshotfirst I never watched the creature from the blue lagoon (I just find it difficult to identify with sci-fi movies from that era) - so for somebody who has never seen the original movie, I suppose this might be a completely different experience altogether. Or am I wrong?

You don't have to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon to enjoy this one. Aside from it being the exact same creature, there are not many connections to the plot of the original.

@roji.abraham Your typo made me laugh. I just imagined the filmmakers pitching this film to a roomful of movie execs as The Creature from the Black Lagoon meets The Blue Lagoon to get the greenlight! LOL

The fact that this quasi-sequel is detail oriented makes it heads and tails over the original film which I saw. I haven't seen this film yet but, if anything, it is probably superior to "Creature'. I need to see it. "Creature was enjoyable but cheesy.

"When I was childless thirty-year old with plenty of disposable income and time on my hands" Ah man this hit home hard haha

Hello @hanshortfirst

When I was childless thirty-year old with plenty of disposable income and time on my hands...

Certainly, life is all about interest. What may interest Mr A might be boring to Mr B. Even as I am single today, I hardly watch movies...but I do listen to news.

Here's the problem. The movie is 120 minutes long.

Hahahahahsh this is one of my problems with watching movies. You have got to sit and sit till your buttocks feels like a stick.

Any particular methods one can develop interest in this?

Upv by
@eurogee, the Steemivangelist and the founder of @euronation Newbie's Support Team

mmmm a more nuanced review than i expected, everyone seemed to LOVE this movie. I like your restraints and critical approach. It's true that Del Toro can be a bit too much "generous" sometimes. However as a fan, i'll rush to it asap! By the way, take my survey, please: https://steemit.com/movie/@herverisson/steemit-survey-best-films-of-2017
I'd love to hear about your favourite 2017 movies!

I'm doing a top 10 list next week. Maybe I'll use your survey to help me remember some of the movies.

Today is ma 2nd day on steemit and this is the 1st post i found about movies.After reading the post i felt the urge in me to watch the shape of water.The name itself made me attracted to the movie.Thank you very much for this nice post

I do quite a few movie reviews. Hope you enjoy them.

I was really hoping this movie would shed more backstory on Hellboy's Abe Sapien being that the design of both he and the fish-man from The Shape of Water are almost the exact same. That distracted me the whole movie because I didn't realize I was waiting for it until I left the theatre.

Yes! He is so similar to Abe. This one liked music... didn't Abe like to read?

So was it better than lets say

The Last Jedi?


I enjoyed the Last Jedi more... because I took my kids.

This movie is a far better movie. Just not as exciting.

My kiddo is too young to appreciate Star Wars yet but it was an exciting movie. The Mrs and I will have to check out this one too. Thanks!

I enjoyed your in depth review. To your point that the movie being so long and might work better as several parts of a tv series is exactly my thinking. So many movies, of late, that I have tried to get through are too long and are stuffed with irrelevant to the story line information. I find myself getting that restless, can't get comfortable, stretchy feeling that one gets on a long flight.

I was actually contemplating watching this simple because of the visuals. I'm a sucker for those. Your review is quite informative and I think (if the movie ever comes to cinemas here and if I have time) I'll watch this film with a bit more a critical mindset

If I'm not mistaken, you are quite the artist. One of the supporting characters is an artist as well. the visuals are beautiful. If you have the time, I think you would enjoy the beauty of it.

Yes and no, so i will rent it.

Nice review :D

The Shape of Water is a eternal story for our time, about loving and being loved, speaking and being heard, and compassion for humanity. @hanshotfirst

Rating: R (for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language)
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Written By: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
In Theaters: Dec 22, 2017 Wide
Runtime: 119 minutes
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures


good, thank you =)

i have not watched but ,i,m going to watch it after reading your post

if i say true all the name of these movies are new for me and if u post about these i think all these have good story and now i will watch to see the wahts specialaty in these and u preffer with intorduction hanshotfirst

I'm extremely not certain about watching it at this moment.

It is exceptionally dismal, isn't that so? Also, with brutality

thanxs alot dude i will watch right now and i think they will be really amazing thanxs for sharing and waiting for such post

This is such a great story,,, I would like to watch it and see to what extent suspense dominates the scenes in it.

Wow nice collection of movies you got here like and upvote

I think i have to watch this movie too.....just like "guildances of the galaxy 2017", i just couldnt leave the screen becAuse i didnt want to miss any single part of it....

I have not seen but ready to watch it now.
Who else watching this movie?

My wife was absolutely crazy about this film - so much so that I'm all but obligated to watch it and so I cannot continue reading beyond your intial opinion. :)

But I comment here to bring up the possibility that you might benefit from getting a moviepass subscription given the number of movies you see. I got one this month and halve already bought five tickets: Star Wars 3 times, The Disaster Artist, and a single ticket to "Ponyo" that I bought just to use the bathroom at IFC. Lol. All free, all getting Regal rewards points. It's been incredible.

The film is very fascinating with a very deep message..

Muy buena eleccion amigo, felicitaciones

Very nice movie....you shared..
Good post

where can you buy this dvd?

You are the best

how come I haven't heard of these? gotta check it out. cheers!


seems like it will be best to watch it at home :)

I'm really not sure about watching it right now.
It is very sad, right? And with violence.
I wanna comedyyyy :(

good looking post :)

its a great review on ten movie and you have a good appetite on movie selection.

Which do you suggest for best movie? i'll see that movie what will you reply.

Nice post. Intalectual description.

i have not watched anyone of those movies :/ should find them and watch them..aiyoow i feel sorry for myself.anyway thanks for the message :)

Free vote for you! Yay!

Thank you for sharing

Nice ! Looka like its going to oscar journey . Have to watched it !

a very interesting topic kept me reading at all times completely hooked because it offers a clear explanation and the essence is not lost

well nice to be give this name the the shape of water i didnot watch this movie but now i will intresting movie

me gusta el contenido

WOW Great post!

wow!! Its a great story
I enjoying reading this story keep it up I Like ypur amaizing post

Special post.
Good piece.

Very nice your post, personally i like this post carry on my friend

Thank you for writing and I will watch these movie ;)

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@hanshotfirst I must say after the first section I knew I wanted to watch it. I my list of movies to watch is growing. Thank you, Best wishes.

Very good post thanks :)

This movie is quite different... I watched it's trailer and seems very interesting..

It's a very usefull stat))) I think about not to watch this movie in theater

Nice review. There were a whole lots of badass movies last year..... 'The War Of The Planet Of Apes' was among my top ten

Nice review. There were a whole lots of badass movies last year..... 'The War Of The Planet Of Apes' was among my top ten

Nice review. There were a whole lots of badass movies last year..... 'The War Of The Planet Of Apes' was among my top ten

Nice movie story is beautiful

I think I'll stick with, "No, I don't want to see a love story about a human and the Creature from the Black Lagoon." Great review, though. Thanks.

I love tarkovsky movies @hanshotfirst

Great movie review from you @hanshotfirst - I am interested on your post and the way you share contents. A worth to follow here in Steemit.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts it helps us encourage to watch this film.


My friend had seen the movie and is so recommending it to me. I think I'll see it too. Thanks.

Wow, 2018 movies are going to be amazing can't wait to start enjoying myself with those movies.

i really love what you are talking about, am a movie maker too, you have really thought me alot today. thanks...

I will wait it torrent link

I completely disagree, but I upvoted. I'm glad to see reviews like this on here. We all have different opinions. What I love about Del Toro is how he takes historical times of crisis and combines it with fantasy. Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone both take place during the Spanish Civil War and show the fantasy world that children escape to. These fantasy worlds contain their own horror. In the case of the latter, a ghost. Shape of Water coincides with the time the Creature From the Black Lagoon was released. Horror movies like that are always escapist for the audience. In this case people were living in the middle of the cold war. Russians and Americans were fighting to control the bomb, represented here by the creature. Perhaps it could have been called How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fish.

A Guillermo Del Toro fan here. I have a soft spot for his movies! "El Laberinto Del Fauno" is already one of my all-time favorites, but I think each DelToro movie has something special on its own (except "Pacific Rim", it's really hard to believe that it's a Del Toro movie). I also suggest watching "Devil's Backbone" if you haven't watched it yet :)


Been postponing watching it for awhile now. Guess i have to watch it now

@hanshotfirst Now i have a new movie titles added to my to watch list. Thank you and please have a great week ahead :)

There should be a remake of the twilight zone as the present I think it will have a great impact on a wide range of people!

Looks like a great movie I will have to check this one out for sure. Thanks for the heads up...

Looking forward to seeing this picture

going to watch this movie at cinema tonight.

Oh My GOD i have seen this picture is very horrible, looking dangrour and much more horrible
Maybe this movie intrusting for me LOL :D

What a great post!!
I just did a review of the movie The Beguiled and it will be awesome if you come by my post and check on it and leave some critics or some advice so i can make better my next movie review.
Thank you


So glad you let me know! I totally appreciate the review! Thanks!

all new movie almost copy paste old movie... ^_^

Thanks for this. I'll wait.

I have a confession...

I voted your review of Jumanji but I haven't read it yet. I want to go to see the film and I don't want any more information that I already have.

Because you write such great reviews, I wanted to show my support, but I'll read the review after I see the film :)

Yeah... I know... :D

its really looks like hot movie.

As always, it's a pleasure to read your post, you definitely have a unique and fascinating vision, I still hope they will release it in my country, to be able to give the review, you have my vote is not much, but it's my way of contributing to you for your great work.

Really love this story file you just narrated (shape of the water ) , just don't be discouraged about ur future, many people will discourage you and many people will encourage you ...just keep moving and be focus

I really can't wait to see this one, but it's not being shown in my area. Only silly juvenile crap like Pitch Perfect.

Hello, i m new here plz encourage me :D